Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Top Fifty Nelson Mandela Quotes to Ponder Over

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
Nelson Mandela 
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
Nelson Mandela 
A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.
Nelson Mandela 
It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.
Nelson Mandela 
If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.
Nelson Mandela 
For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
Nelson Mandela 
If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.
Nelson Mandela 
There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.
Nelson Mandela 
It always seems impossible until its done.
Nelson Mandela 
After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.
Nelson Mandela 

There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires. Nelson Mandela quote on freedom and death.
There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children.
Nelson Mandela quote on society and children
In my country we go to prison first and then become President.
Nelson Mandela quote on presidency and prison
We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.
Nelson Mandela quote on time and realization
Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another.
Nelson Mandela quote on liberty and love
I detest racialism, because I regard it as a barbaric thing, whether it comes from a black man or a white man.
Nelson Mandela quote on racism
If the United States of America or Britain is having elections, they don't ask for observers from Africa or from Asia. But when we have elections, they want observers.
Nelson Mandela quote on elections  
A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don't have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial, and uninformed.
Nelson Mandela quote on good leadership
Money won't create success, the freedom to make it will.
Nelson Mandela quote on success and freedom
There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.
Nelson Mandela quote on change
Does anybody really think that they didn't get what they had because they didn't have the talent or the strength or the endurance or the commitment?
Nelson Mandela 
Strength, Talent, Endurance
Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.
Nelson Mandela 
Peace, Work, Water
I dream of an Africa which is in peace with itself.
Nelson Mandela 
Peace, Dream, Africa
Let freedom reign. The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement.
Nelson Mandela 
Freedom, Human, Sun
If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.
Nelson Mandela

We can't afford to be killing one another.
Nelson Mandela 
Another, Afford
Any man or institution that tries to rob me of my dignity will lose.
Nelson Mandela 
Lose, Dignity, Rob
To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.
Nelson Mandela 
Human, Humanity, Challenge
No country can really develop unless its citizens are educated.
Nelson Mandela 
Country, Unless, Educated
I was not a messiah, but an ordinary man who had become a leader because of extraordinary circumstances.
Nelson Mandela 
Leader, Become, Ordinary
Courageous people do not fear forgiving, for the sake of peace.
Nelson Mandela 
Peace, Fear, Courageous
When the water starts boiling it is foolish to turn off the heat.
Nelson Mandela 
Off, Water, Turn
In countries where innocent people are dying, the leaders are following their blood rather than their brains.
Nelson Mandela 
Rather, Dying, Blood
Unlike some politicians, I can admit to a mistake.
Nelson Mandela 
Mistake, Admit, Unlike
I stand here before you not as a prophet, but as a humble servant of you, the people.
Nelson Mandela 
Humble, Here, Stand
I am confident that nobody... will accuse me of selfishness if I ask to spend time, while I am still in good health, with my family, my friends and also with myself.
Nelson Mandela 
Family, Time, Good
Only free men can negotiate; prisoners cannot enter into contracts. Your freedom and mine cannot be separated.
Nelson Mandela 
Men, Freedom, Cannot
If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America.
Nelson Mandela 
Country, America, United
Forget the past.
Nelson Mandela 
Moving On, Forget, Past
I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.
Nelson Mandela 
Society, Together, Free
It is wise to persuade people to do things and make them think it was their own idea.
Nelson Mandela 
Wise, Idea, Persuade
Give a child love, laughter and peace, not AIDS.
Nelson Mandela 
Love, Peace, Laughter
Intervention only works when the people concerned seem to be keen for peace.
Nelson Mandela 
Peace, Seem, Works
I cannot conceive of Israel withdrawing if Arab states do not recognize Israel, within secure borders.
Nelson Mandela 
Cannot, Within, Israel
I made a mistake by being ejected from the presidency. Next time, I will choose a Cabinet which will allow me to be life President.
Nelson Mandela 
Life, Time, Next
There is no such thing as part freedom.
Nelson Mandela 
Sometimes, I feel like one who is on the sidelines, who has missed life itself.
Nelson Mandela 
Life, Sometimes, Missed
Leaders in all spheres who are living with HIV should be encouraged, not coerced, to lead by example and disclose their HIV status.
Nelson Mandela 
Living, Leaders, Lead
I have retired, but if there's anything that would kill me it is to wake up in the morning not knowing what to do.
Nelson Mandela 
Morning, Knowing, Wake
I should tie myself to no particular system of society other than of socialism.
Nelson Mandela
By ancestry, I was born to rule.
Nelson Mandela 
Born, Rule, Ancestry
You know, you can only lead them from behind.
Nelson Mandela 
Behind, Lead
Our human compassion binds us the one to the other - not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.
Nelson Mandela 
Future, Hope, Human
Only free men can negotiate. A prisoner cannot enter into contracts.
Nelson Mandela 
Men, Cannot, Free
I have always regarded myself, in the first place, as an African patriot.
Nelson Mandela 
Place, African, Patriot
I have been influenced in my thinking by both west and east.
Nelson Mandela 
Thinking, Both, West
I can't pretend that I'm brave and that I can beat the whole world.
Nelson Mandela 
Brave, Whole, Pretend
I dream of the realization of the unity of Africa, whereby its leaders combine in their efforts to solve the problems of this continent. I dream of our vast deserts, of our forests, of all our great wildernesses.
Nelson Mandela 
Great, Problems, Dream
If you are poor, you are not likely to live long.
Nelson Mandela 
Poor, Likely
Nonviolence is a good policy when the conditions permit.
Nelson Mandela 
Good, Policy, Conditions
I really wanted to retire and rest and spend more time with my children, my grandchildren and of course with my wife.
Nelson Mandela 
Time, Wife, Children
Africans require, want, the franchise on the basis of one man one vote. They want political independence.
Nelson Mandela 
Political, Vote, African
My son has died of AIDS.
Nelson Mandela 
Son, Died, Aids
There are times when a leader must move out ahead of the flock, go off in a new direction, confident that he is leading his people the right way.
Nelson Mandela 
Leader, Off, Times
Where globalization means, as it so often does, that the rich and powerful now have new means to further enrich and empower themselves at the cost of the poorer and weaker, we have a responsibility to protest in the name of universal freedom.
Nelson Mandela 
Freedom, Powerful, Rich
I was called a terrorist yesterday, but when I came out of jail, many people embraced me, including my enemies, and that is what I normally tell other people who say those who are struggling for liberation in their country are terrorists.
Nelson Mandela 
Enemy, Country, Tell
Communists have always played an active role in the fight by colonial countries for their freedom, because the short-term objects of Communism would always correspond with the long-term objects of freedom movements.
Nelson Mandela 
Freedom, Fight, Played
There is nothing I fear more than waking up without a program that will help me bring a little happiness to those with no resources, those who are poor, illiterate, and ridden with terminal disease.
Nelson Mandela 
Happiness, Fear, Help
I started to make a study of the art of war and revolution and, whilst abroad, underwent a course in military training. If there was to be guerrilla warfare, I wanted to be able to stand and fight with my people and to share the hazards of war with them.
Nelson Mandela 
War, Art, Fight
Let us give publicity to H.I.V./AIDS and not hide it, because the only way to make it appear like a normal illness like TB, like cancer, is always to come out and say somebody has died because of H.I.V./AIDS, and people will stop regarding it as something extraordinary.
Nelson Mandela 
Give, Stop, Somebody
Our single most important challenge is therefore to help establish a social order in which the freedom of the individual will truly mean the freedom of the individual.
Nelson Mandela 
Freedom, Help, Single
There are many people in South Africa who are rich and who can share those riches with those not so fortunate who have not been able to conquer poverty.
Nelson Mandela 
Rich, Poverty, Able
I do not deny that I planned sabotage. I did not plan it in a spirit of recklessness nor because I have any love of violence. I planned it as a result of a calm and sober assessment of the political situation that had arisen after many years of tyranny, exploitation and oppression of my people by the whites.
Nelson Mandela 
Love, Political, Violence
Before I went to jail, I was active in politics as a member of South Africa's leading organization - and I was generally busy from 7 A.M. until midnight. I never had time to sit and think.
Nelson Mandela 
Politics, Time, Busy
There are many people who feel that it is useless and futile to continue talking about peace and non-violence against a government whose only reply is savage attacks on an unarmed and defenceless people.
Nelson Mandela
The United States has made serious mistakes in the conduct of its foreign affairs, which have had unfortunate repercussions long after the decisions were taken.
Nelson Mandela 
Mistakes, Serious, Decisions
The titanic effort that has brought liberation to South Africa, and ensured the total liberation of Africa, constitutes an act of redemption for the black people of the world.
Nelson Mandela

Monday, 14 January 2013

Famous Sayings and Proverbs From Africa About Parenting and Children

African children

Parenting can be tough. Indeed, just as the famous Yoruba saying from Africa puts it, “it takes a whole village to raise a child.” This is actually one of the most famous wise African proverbs, having been popularized by Hillary Clinton in the 1990s. . Elders to date punctuate their conversations with smart proverbs drawn from different African communities. This way, anything can be said, but only the wise will detect the real meaning-fools may think they are being praised yet they have been pampered in ridicule.
Parents have a role to play in the upbringing of their children. In most communities in Africa, it is never a sole responsibility of the biological parents to raise a child. Children in Africa belong to the community. They celebrate when their “son or daughter” makes it in life. Listed below are some great African proverbs and sayings from African about children, parenthood and parenting in general. They are informative, educative and funny but wise.

We desire to bequest two things to our children -- the roots and wings. ~Sudanese Proverb

Children will dislike all those who give all things to them. ~African Proverb

A child's lie is like a dead fish in a pond that in the end, always comes to the surface. ~Luo Proverb

Nursing a pregnancy is not as tough as bringing up a child. ~Swahili Proverb

When a four-year child is still crawling instead of walking it is time to cry out. ~African Proverb

A single hand cannot nurse a child. ~Swahili Proverb

Haste and hurry can only bear children with many regrets along the way. ~Senegalese Proverb

The art of negotiating is acquired from childhood. ~Congolese Proverb

A child doesn't breastfeed from a stepmother if its mother is still alive. ~African Proverb

Do not make the dress before the child is born. ~Tanzanian Proverb

The motherless child will suckle the grandmother. ~Bambara Proverb

You only understand the joys of parenthood when you have your first child, you only understand the mystery of death when in mourning. ~Bahaya Proverb

When a child is asleep, a mother's attention is on the child's stomach. ~African Proverb

A child who has no mother will not have scars to show on his back. ~Nigerian Proverb

By crawling, a child learns to stand. ~West African Proverb

What the child says, he has heard at home. ~Nigerian Proverb

If a child is not well-behaved, she is not sent by the mother to go alone to the market to buy things for her. ~Nigerian Proverb

It is the duty of children to wait on elders, and not the elders on children. ~Kenyan Proverb

A child is what you put into him. ~Nigerian Proverb

When you take a knife away from a child, give him a piece of wood instead. ~Kenyan Proverb

It is the habit that a child forms at home, that follows them to their marriage. ~Nigerian Proverb

Train a child the way he should go and make sure you also go the same way. ~African Proverb

A child who is fearless is going to bring tears to his mother's eyes. ~African Proverb

A child one does not instruct on return, one instructs him when going. ~Bantu Proverb

When a child knows how to wash his hands well, he eats with the elders. ~Tshi Proverb

An immoral father-in-law cannot advise his children well. ~African Proverb

As you do for your ancestors, your children will do for you. ~African Proverb

You cannot beat a child to take away its tears. ~African Proverb

If your child is dancing clumsily, tell him: 'you are dancing clumsily'; do not tell him: 'darling, do as you please.' ~Twi Proverb
A child who is to be successful is not to be reared exclusively on a bed of down. ~Akan Proverb

When a woman has ten children, there is nothing that happens in the night that she does not know about. ~Nigerian Proverb

A child who is carried on the back will not know how far the journey is. ~Nigerian Proverb

Respect a little child, and let it respect you. ~Bantu Proverb

When a man curses his own child it is a terrible thing. ~African Proverb

A child does not fear treading on dangerous ground until he or she gets hurt. ~Bukusu Proverb

What you help a child to love can be more important than what you help him to learn. ~African Proverb

A child brought up where there is always dancing cannot fail to dance. ~Nyanja Proverb

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Inspirational African Proverbs and Sayings About African God(s), Religion and Worship

An African village
Africans are staunch believers, and long before Christian missionaries and Muslims came knocking with their religions, Africans were already worshiping  In fact, African gods do not expect anything short of total submission. Sins were punishable but you are of course be forgiven if you offer some sacrifice to appease the gods. Well, in their efforts to guard cultural customs, boost societal morality and above all, ensure maximum respect and submissions to the gods of Africans, different communities used proverbs, sayings, riddles and even folk tales. For the wise, a word is enough.

Religion in Africa is as diverse as the tribes and communities. Even though most Africans converted to either Islam or Christianity, many have never fully relinquished their traditional practices. Some still worship facing the directions they believed their gods resides, others still believe in special trees, and even mountains.

It is actually not only in Africa where people believe in various things that may not be so “godly” in the eyes of others. There are many people from other continents who still worship curved sculptures, or sacred animals, and it really hurts whenever they see their “gods” slaughtered, cooked and served in the next meal. So, stop frowning at the African way of worship. Below are some sayings and proverbs about African gods, their religion and beliefs about the most powerful gods.

“If you are stranger in a foreign land, share in the good that come your way, but if bad comes, let it follow the natives who understand how to appease their gods”

“If you miss the drum-beats of the gods, you definitely lose on life’s pace and rhythm”

“Whatever the gods reserve for the poor cannot be destroyed by any man”

“One begins to seek the gods by holding the sacrificial lamb”

 “Don’t wait for the king’s downfall, the gods will not allow it”

“If you are to dine with the gods, you have to do it with a very long spoon”

“A good devil is as bad as a bad god”

“Don’t discard your nets if you fail to catch anything, you can never tell what the gods are planning.”

“It is an offense against the gods to sin against a brother or sister”

“The ignorant is long forgiven by God”
(West African proverb)

“God doesn’t give anything to those with crossed arms”
“No man can uproot a tree planted by God”
(Yoruba proverb)

“When God is cooking, don’t expect to see smoke”
(Zambian proverb)

“Cross the river first, and then praise God”
(Swahili saying)

(The beating of God’s stick is soundless)
(Swahili methali)

There are many other inspiration African proverbs and sayings about God(s), worship and religion, will try to add some more to this list with time.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Famous Ugandan Proverbs and wise sayings and their Significance

Uganda is an interesting country and its rich cultural values and practices are mesmerizing. The customs of the Baganda and other Ugandan tribes are well preserved, even in the current day and time. They still value the use proverbs, wise sayings, quotes, riddles and some interesting (and even funny) folk tales. I have listed top twenty proverbs and sayings from Uganda, randomly collected from numerous sources. Enjoy and share in the wisdom from Uganda!

*** (the content in brackets is not part of the proverbs or sayings but some brief explanations for guidance)

Top 20 Proverbs From Uganda
1.      Sheep does not grieve over the death of a goat’s child (doesn’t )

2.      A barren woman attracts many visitors

3.     An ugly girl doesn’t age at her parent’s home (someone of course will see some beauty in the ugliness)

4.   The elephant doesn’t find the tusk too heavy to carry (everyone must withstand his/her own burden)

5.     Boisterous lion kills no game (watch out the wordy chaps)

6.     A dog holding onto a bone in his mouth can never bite you (or can it?)

7.     Those who tell no lies never grow

8.     Empty hands are only pleasant to their owners (but no one else can lick them )

9.   Being cautious is not a sign of cowardice; the ants are always as they match (go ahead, be prepared)

10.  If you are beaten by the snake, you can even fear the lizard (or anything that resembles a snake)

11.  Death leaves a permanent scar, it never heals (if you have ever attended an African funeral ceremony, you sure understand what this means)

12.  The eagle can fly to the sky, but will still come down to the treetops to rest (conquers the sky and explore other planets, but you will find your way home, to your roots)

13.  He who loves you, will still love you with your dirt (love is selfless and unconditional)

14.  He who throws the only spear he has at you doesn’t fear you (watch out for the fist)

15.  If you choose to eat a dog, slaughter a fat one (where is the logic in eating a skinny dog anyway, come on, it is an abomination in the first place…fatty fatty)

16.  Better he who is married to an old lady than one with no wife (getting wife is not an option, it is an obligation)

17.  An old man sits and enjoys the trees he planted years back (invest in your youth, reap in old age)

18.  As the brave cry, the cowards laugh (do cowards have any idea what war means)

19.  Never dare steal a strong man’s wife in his presence, do it when he is away (or be ready for a beating)

20.  A hunter pursuing an elephant doesn’t stop to throw stones at birds on trees J

There are thousands of other proverbs, quotes and inspirational sayings from Uganda, Africa as a whole and other continents. Some are funny; others are educative while others will sure leave you thinking; please share them with me or leave a comment. Or still, follow this blog for the wisdom of the African!